Talk:List of countries by percentage of population living in poverty

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Applepie (talk)

India has a $2/day rate of 75.6% as per UNDP. I gave the link, some Indian changed it to a wishful 10%. If 37% live under $1.25 then how can only 10% live under $2 when it is combined stat? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Applepie (talkcontribs) 19:26, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Where is the data for these countries?[edit]

Sweden, Singapore, Norway, New Zealand, Italy, Finland?

Wrong metric to use for measuring poverty[edit]

It is meaningless to use one set amount (in this case $2) as a measure of poverty for all countries.

In most developed countries, if you earn $10 a day, you would be poorer than someone earning $2 a day in some developing countries. This article doesn't reflect that.

For example, here in Sydney, if you earn $10 a day, you would effectively be living on the streets! Yet, this article openly classifies people living on the streets in Western countries as NOT poor!

Objection: Living in a clean street, with public lights, crime safety, clean drinking water, medical facilities, civil rights, good clothes to be found, charities all around with $10 is way better than having to support a family of 5 with the same budget in sub-saharian Africa.

Someone needs to update the article to reflect the fact that poverty in the West is actually A LOT higher than suggested by these tables.

Marcopolo112233 (talk) 08:37, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Does anyone agree that the clarification needs to be included? Can anyone suggest the wording of the change? Marcopolo112233 (talk) 10:02, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Added a brief note in the article myself to clarify. Marcopolo112233 (talk) 06:44, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
The numbers are adjusted for PPP - 10 AUD a day is very little in Sydney, imagine the plight of someone earning 2 AUD a day. The numbers capture exactly that. Earning 2 AUD(PPP) a day anywhere in the world represents a level of poverty that most middle class people around the world cannot even begin to grasp. I have altered the disclaimer to represent this fact. BusSpotter23 (talk) 12:00, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
So where is the source that says it is PPP adjusted? Marcopolo112233 (talk) 03:11, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
If no-one objects, I will add a brief note in the article to reflect the point I made above. (talk) 05:55, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Done Marcopolo112233 (talk) 07:25, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Pakistan is now at only 17% poverty, please change info[edit]

Pakistan has dropped it's poverty level by about 5%, to 17%. Please change your data now, thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 2 June 2009 (UTC)


Why does sources to countries such as Guatemala are still being deleted, the source is a legitimate CEPAL source. It SHOULDN'T be deleted again and replaced by a higher source. (talk) 17:32, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

These sources clearly oppose the changes made by CieloEstrellado which add much higher figures, clearly going against the cited sources. I also wanted to add that in Panama, the minimum wage is 300$ per worker per month and the poverty line stands at 1200 per worker per year, also, the informal sector (which cannot cover this amount) is at 20%, meaning that only 20% of the population may or may not earn the 300 per month. Thereby leaving 20% of the population or even less of the population living in poverty. That's all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cocoliras (talkcontribs) 20:49, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Portugal and other EU members[edit]

since when Portugal , slovenia even poland and others countries in eu has people living with less 1 dollar? it's impossible...for example in Portugal the goverment gives a salary for people who doesn't have a job... i think this list and map is a bit stupid

It's not impossible from the fact that they're EU members, cause everyone knows that they are the poorest countries in the EU but it's impossible because even in Belarus less than 2% of the population lives in poverty... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:07, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Map showing perc. of pop. living on less than 1 dollar per day[edit]

This map is clearly misleading and unnecessary. It drives towards little conclusive evidence because it has a total disregard for inflation or the cost of living in relation to purchasing power parity dollars. The map also doesn't provide data for the United States, nearly all of Europe, Australia, Libya and a good portion of sub-Saharan Africa. The only Map which should be shown is the poverty line map as this Map is misleading on the premise that it does not account for 1 dollar meaning more and attributing more to a country's standard cost of living than another countries standard cost of living. On that premise, this map is absolutely useless and even harmful.

Actually, the data incorporates those things, see the source.Ultramarine 17:57, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Gaza Strip[edit]

Strictly, Gaza strip is not clearly a country? --BozMo|talk 13:34, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Who reports poverty line?[edit]

Is this self-reported by each government in question or is it relative to some UN / US Government established poverty line? Might be good to add this info.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Good question. Where are the raw data to back up these percentages? Number of people (x) living under (y) dollars/total population (z). Total population is easy enough to find, but what are the sources for x and y? And please don't say y is 1 dollar per day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:23, 28 September 2007 (UTC)


I dont think that Egypt has only 16.7% of the population below poverty line..can someone verify this information or provide a more recent statistic


According to the World Bank, the population below the poverty line in Mexico is 17.6% not the 10.1% that is listed. Either way, I don't know why the country is painted that color which represents >40%, it should be colored green.

When the map was uploaded Mexico was listed as 40% [4] -- Astrokey44|talk 22:14, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

The list says that the 35% of the mexican population live under the poverty line, so the map is wrong cuz it indicate that the poverty in mexico is from 10% to 20%.. is contradictory.

--Shrewsbury333 02:57, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

It is wrong, that 17.6% figure is for extreme poverty, not the same as just poverty (which is just under 40% for Mexico). While other figures represent just Poverty (US for example), where extreme poverty is at around 6%) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:12, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

But it is NOT from the UN.--Kanzler31 (talk) 01:04, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

United Kingdom[edit]

Are you seriously telling me 17% of people in the UK live below the poverty line? I don't think so some how, that means more than Malaysia or Egypt? What? The US has far more people living below the poverty line but it's only registered as 12%. And where is Australia? This is incorrect

Below their poverty line, it should be said. Many countries have their own different levels - often because the costs of living standards vary between different places. For example, one could survive quite comfortable in Việt Nam on $15,000 USD a year, and even buy the odd item like a fridge or a computer. In the United States, that's close to penury.

Poverty Line[edit]

I think there is a strong need to have a column for Poverty line values. Does any one know any place where such data might be reliably available?

What would be good is to list in the table what the "poverty line" is for each of the respective places. Add this as a third column. Otherwise (as we can see) the table is confusing. --Tphcm 12:59, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone really believe that in China only 2.8% live in poverty? --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 14:25, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

missing countries[edit]

What about Germany, Norway and other missing (European) countries? Why are they not ranked, isn't there any poverty?

That's called socialism.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I added Germany to the list. However, I didn't find any English scources so my reference is a German document from the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. This will likely be the reason for other missing (European) countries: there aren't any internet sources in English! Mintaru 11:22, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

What about cuba? I couldn't find it on the page and I think it would be a very interesting comparison. I suspect they'd have a really low rate of people below their country's poverty line. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:29, 8 October 2013 (UTC)


Are these U.S. dollars or PPP dollars? There is a difference, i believe. EamonnPKeane 18:51, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

The "dollar a day" and "two dollars a day" statements from the World Bank are based on what are known as PPP dollars.

PPP stands for "purchasing power parity", but the system has not considered specific prices relevant to the "poor".

Things are generally cheaper in "poor" countries than in the USA. So the World Bank dollars are in those countries generally worth a fraction of a real dollar.

But what people on one or two World Bank dollars a day can actually buy has not been estimated by the World Bank.

This problem is compounded by the mathematics of price indices. A related problem concerning representativeness affects measures of prices and inflation in general.

National price indices, and therefore inflation indices, are more influenced by luxury items than by basic items. That follows logically from a mathematical truth: the total money spent on a category (prices multiplied by sales) determines that category's influence on the index.

This means that price and inflation indices are mathematically biased in favour of the "rich" - if by that we mean people who buy expensive things and/or many things.

Suppose prices of cheap items bought by the "poor" go down. Suppose that is outweighed by rises - smaller in percentage terms - for expensive items of the "rich". Then a macroeconomist might say "the poor have not got richer" when in reality they could now buy more with their money.

Similar considerations apply in relation to country comparisons.

Since the World Bank system did not look at prices for the "poor", it is perhaps difficult to see the term "purchasing power parity", in the present context of poverty, as anything other than a misnomer.

The question of the appropriateness of the word "parity" despite the lack of systematic purchasing power estimates for the "poor" (and thus the impossibility of basing any judgement about "parity" of purchasing power of the "poor" between countries) is in addition to the general problem:

As a result of economists' and politicians' use of the word "dollar a day", many people may falsely believe that those on a "dollar a day" actually spend, in local terms, two, three or four times what they really can.

Matt Berkley 17:15, 17 March 2007 (UTC)


I really wonder that who would accept such a non-sense that 18 percent of people in Iran live under poverty line. It means that Iran gained a better rank than Israel or Spain which is impossible and also I dont think that the U.K has 17 percent poverty and the U.S has 12 percent. This ranking needs to be updated.

Iran does really have 18% of poverty, Venezuela has 12% and Guatemala 29%. Maybe you're just being too paranoic and the USA has 12%, Iran has surpassed Spain and Israel and is better than them right now.Cocoliras (talk) 20:02, 1 October 2008 (UTC)


Pakistan has a population below poverty line of 25% as of 2006..............this needs to be updated. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mm11 (talkcontribs) 09:23, 9 December 2006 (UTC).

Maps are wrong[edit]

please, check those maps cuz are wrong and contradictory to the data below them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shrewsbury333 (talkcontribs) 21:17, 5 September 2007 (UTC)


Can we stick to one single source for the national poverty line table? What good is it if we have a listing saying a country has 15% and 30% poverty rate, or 15% and 5%? Also, the links to the world development indicators site are broken. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sbw01f (talkcontribs) 20:23, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and removed statistics with extreme contradicting figures where one source doubles the other in percent, as presenting information in this manner is uninformative and pointless. I used the CIA factbook as priority for two reasons: First reason being that the world bank doesn't have info on many countries (including places like Germany and South Korea). Second reason being that the links to the world bank statistics are still broken. The entire list, in fact, should be ranked by the CIA figures, because they're more consistent and complete.

Sbw01f (talk) 17:14, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Maybe after they find WMD in Iraq we can rely on CIA info, otherwise I don't see them as putting much effort into coming up with a comparable list here. Deet (talk) 21:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Well until you can find a more complete and up-to-date source, it will have to do. All of the national poverty line figures sourced to the Human Development Report in the current article are out-dated anyhow, and in the 2007/2008 report many countries previously listed have no data.

Sbw01f (talk) 21:39, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


As explained in the poverty in Canada article, Statistics Canada has abdicated the role of producing any poverty measure.[5] The Fraser Institute does produce a poverty threshold metric. It is quite common for left-wing groups in Canada to misquote a statistic produced by Statistics Canada, called the low-income cut-off rate, as a poverty measure because it is quite high relative to the poverty threshold approach.[6] To exaggerate the point further, groups also quote StatsCan's pre-tax measure rather the after-tax measure, even though StatsCan favours the use of the after-tax measure for obvious reasons.[7] All-in-all, this results in more than tripling the figure from the poverty threshold approach to the pre-tax relative income StatsCan measure. A user (who happens to edit many left-wing-topic articles) is now trying to reinsert the pre-tax LICO figure into this article, even though they are aware of the dynamics above as they have also edited the Poverty in Canada article, thus implying that Canada (a wealthy country with many social programs) has more poverty than countries like Columbia, Syria, and Thailand in the Wikipedia poverty list. Deet (talk) 08:18, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Firstly, please do not dismiss my concerns by the fact I am not a registered user.
To continue:
The concern here arises from what constitutes a "poverty measure". The European Union, for example, uses a relative measure. This contrasts with the U.S. which uses an absolute measure. The Fraser Institute's basic needs measure constitutes an absolute measure. I am not here to argue which form of measurement is correct, but moreso, which in practice is used more commonly to measure or indicate poverty, regardless of their intent or designation. I am not here to further a "left-wing" agenda, nor do I belong to a "left-wing group". My edits to poverty in Canada, which I fully stand by, is designed to accurately capture the debate about which measure to use, as opposed to propose an argument itself. Wikipedia's role is not to create argumentative essays on a topic, but rather to accurately summarize debate. There is a debate in this country about what to use as a poverty measure, and what is accurate.
This article clearly identifies such:
To quote directly from this article by the CBC: "In Canada, there isn't a standard measure of poverty. The most accepted one, however, is the LICO."
You are correct in stating the after-tax measure is more relavent. I have reverted the figure to that measure. However, as it stands, the LICO (whether we like it or not) is used more widely as a poverty measure, far more widely, than the basic needs measure. It therefore, until further debate and analysis by other parties, should be used as the poverty measure in this article. (talk) 05:44, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Using a metric designed by StatsCan that StatsCan itself says is not a poverty measure is just plain wrong. The CBC article you quote is incomplete and does not even compare the two measures. According to the Statistics Canada article they are possibly the best statistical orgianization in the world and their opinions on their own metric should trump that of the CBC hands down. Deet (talk) 19:17, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
To accurately convey the debate on how to measure poverty in Canada, I have included both the relative and absolute measurement standards, and identified them accordingly. This satisfies the need to accurately represent the fact there is a debate on this issue in Canada.
As per Wikipedia:Neutral point of view,
"To avoid endless edit wars, we can agree to present each of the significant views fairly and not assert any one of them as correct. That is what makes an article "unbiased" or "neutral" in the sense presented here. Disputes are characterized in Wikipedia; they are not re-enacted." We are not here to have a debate on what is the correct way to measure poverty in Canada, we are here to summarize that debate.
"All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), representing fairly and, as much as possible, without bias all significant views (that have been published by reliable sources). This is non-negotiable and expected on all articles, and of all article editors"
"All articles must adhere to Wikipedia's neutrality policy, fairly representing all majority and significant-minority viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in rough proportion to the prominence of each view."
The role of Wikipedia is not to conclude what poverty measure is valid in Canada. Wikipedia must summarize the debate on poverty in Canada, and present the different viewpoints on the issue. As this article ( states,
"Canada has no official definition of poverty, no official method of measuring poverty, and no official set of poverty lines. In the absence of any kind of official government-approved methodology the debate over how to measure poverty continues to boil."
It mentions there are two sides to this debate. These are "The first group — the anti-poverty coalition" and "The second group — the pro-business coalition", where "Christopher Sarlo of the Fraser Institute is a leading spokesperson for this group."
This clearly and directly establishes the existence of a debate on this issue, as per Wikipedia's neutrality policy, this article must represent the different sides in this debate. If one believes certain groups "exaggerates" the level of poverty and that they are "biased" (as you have stated), that is applicable to other groups too. The low-income cut off or LICO is advocated as a poverty measure by the following groups that satisfy the criterion of prominence as per NPOV guidelines:
National Council on Welfare:
Canadian Council on Social Development:
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
Social Planning Toronto:
Additionally, as you have identified, many groups do not identify the LICO as a valid poverty measure. One of these groups is Statistics Canada, the group that compiles this measure, and this is explicitly noted in the article. It should be noted the article you cite from StatsCan about the LICO ( not being a poverty measures also identifies:
"The proposed poverty lines have included, among others, relative measures (you are poor if your means are small compared to others in your population) and absolute measures (you are poor if you lack the means to buy a specified basket of goods and services designated as essential)."
This means that StatsCan itself does not identify the Fraser Institute's measure as official, nor has it ever argued that is it is a valid poverty measure. StatsCan clearly states in the article that there is a debate about whether a relative or absolute line should be used.
The article also notes: "As long as that represents their own considered opinion of how poverty should be defined in Canada, we have no quarrel with them"
Thus, StatsCan is not explicitly stating that the LICO cannot be used as a poverty measure, but that the LICO is not intended to be one. Maybe it should be and maybe it shouldn't be, but the role of Wikipedia is not to make that judgment, but to elaborate on the ongoing and existent debate in Canada about that judgment. This statistic, therefore, must include those on both sides of the issue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mft1 (talkcontribs) 13:02, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Glad to see you registered. I can live with listing both, but others may not. The definition at the start of this article (2nd sentence) is basically the definition used by the Fraser Institute 4.9% calculation, not the StatsCan 10.8% measure. So others may understandably reject the inclusion of the 10.8% figure in this list. Deet (talk) 21:11, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Read my response above to understand the rationale for the inclusion of both figures. The opinions of those who read this page are not my concern, the policies of Wikipedia are. Furthermore, note "There are many working definitions of "poverty," with considerable debate on how to best define the term." Additionally, many countries on this list are quoted according to a relative measure of poverty, the U.K. being a prominent example. Mft1 (talk) 00:53, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Reordering of countries[edit]

Why are countries listed in alphabetical order? Why not according to the values one of the columns to the right? -- (talk) 06:32, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

I totally agree with you. I think there is an argument for having them in alphabetical order, but an additional table ordered from highest % to lowest would be very helpful for anybody trying to compare. (talk) 00:09, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Additionally when sorting countries by values, the sort is alphabetic rather than numeric. Data is grouped by the first character so all countries with 2% are also grouped together with countries with 20-29% before the countries which have 3% and so on. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Can we remove the CIA source?[edit]

I'd like to know why do we use the CIA source for the poverty rate? It is way too biased. Look at Venezuela, the UN and national source put the Venezuela's poverty rate in around 30-32%, the CIA states a rate of 37%, off course they don't want to accept the efforts that the new leftist government has done to decrease the poverty rate. Tony0106 (talk) 01:07, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

No, we can't. --JHP (talk) 22:36, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

The CIA World Fact Book is one of the most important sources for this kind of data. --Crio de la Paz (talk) 19:22, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps the CIA World Fact Book is one of the most important sources for this kind of data, but it looks really wrong when you compare countries to others: Greece have 20% of poor, Israel around 23% and India has almost the same they have with at 25%?? Ah and Argentina has 30% of poor, whereas China 28%? Argentina has actually 23% of poor. The data aren't well... Mexico have less poverty than in Greece? Less than 20% HA HA HA please, how do they calculate the poverty rate? Perhaps that of the 25% of poor in India, 90% lives in extreme poverty, and in Greece less than 10% of the 20% lives in, but the data are also weird!! Be careful!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:19, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

New Discussion[edit]

A discussion has been started at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries/Lists of countries which could affect the inclusion criteria and title of this and other lists of countries. Editors are invited to participate. Pfainuk talk 11:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


This list needs to be updated with the more recent 2009 figures and the new measerment line of 1.25 a day. --J intela (talk) 23:02, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Did a new US figure of 14.3% just come out? --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE GOOD WORKS 17:44, 16 September 2010 (UTC)


Why isn't Mexico's UNDP poverty rate source isn't from the UN? It should be on "Other".--Kanzler31 (talk) 01:03, 20 January 2010 (UTC)


The first map (population living with less than $1,25/day) is wrong in which regards to Brazil. Given that Brazil has less than 6 % of its population in that situation, its color in the map should be blue, and not yellow. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

I believe there is a similar error regarding Costa Rica. --Crio de la Paz (talk) 19:23, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Cleanup needed[edit]

In the second table, Russia and Taiwan have a year listed in a column that should only have percentages. --JHP (talk) 22:37, 14 November 2010 (UTC)


I have reverted back to the cited source on the % of poverty in the UK. The information is from the British government website and clearly states that poverty is defined by the Government as ‘household income below 60 percent of median income’. The median is the income earned by the household in the middle of the income distribution. it should also be noted that this individual has gone to numerous contribution of mine and deleted content, without using the talk paged and based upon his/hers POV.Jacob805 08:22, 4 September 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacob805 (talkcontribs)

Jacob, please read the sources. Your document states that the 60% below median is to measure child poverty only, a specific question was asked in parliment: Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 9 June 2003, Official Report, column 703W, on poverty definition, whether the new general definition of poverty will be announced rather than the specific measurement of child poverty. [121262] Maria Eagle: ‘Measuring Child Poverty: a consultation document’ was specific in its intention to cover only child poverty. We have a pledge to eradicate child poverty by 2020 and we need to ensure that we can monitor long-term progress in the best possible way. Our final conclusions will therefore centre on child poverty measures only.

Per BRD please gain concensus for any changes. Outofsinc (talk) 06:44, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

New Data[edit]

I think we can update the chart --J intela (talk) 01:40, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Libyan figures?[edit]

Where does this 7.2% figure stem from? In terms of "national poverty line" per the UNDP source, this is completely blank for Libya. The only country that even has a similar statistic with that value is Qatar. Looking back at this article's revision history, this seemed to only come up recently (last August specifically). Before that, it had for awhile an out of place (but correct per the CIA World Factbook source) footnote stating that 1/3 of Libyans were at or below the national poverty line.

If anyone can show how this 7.2% figure is calculated or where it comes from, it would be very helpful. Otherwise, it should be removed or revised to conform with what the other sources here say. (talk) 02:01, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Outdated! update needed[edit]

the map is outdated. there is a new data already. for instance nepal is 24.82% for < $1.25/day in the table and the colour of the map shows over 40%

oudated map/ update needed[edit]

the map is outdated. there is a new data already. for instance nepal is 24.82% for < $1.25/day in the table and the colour of the map shows over 40%

Out of date info as of (talk) 23:40, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Poverty by population[edit]

Would it be possible to create a separate list of number of people in poverty in each country?

i.e. according to the US poverty line percentage of 15.1% in 2010, they have 47,508,073 in poverty if we use the population at List of countries by population (2012 data). Likewise Indonesia has 29,705,166 in poverty (using 2011 poverty percentage and 2010 population data). (It's interesting that USA has more poor people than Indonesia, and there are certainly problems with comparisons like that.) John Vandenberg (chat) 04:17, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

No more data for people living under $2 PPP a day[edit]

I just noticed that the map we have for people living under $2 PPP per day is from 2009. However, I also noticed the new UNDP Publications no longer report the number. Shouldn't we replace the map for one using the $1.25 PPP per day figures? They are the only ones that remained in the new report. Alternatively, alter the map to allow indexes from the governments themselves?

Case in point, Chile has a lower poverty rate than the United States but its percentage of people living under less than $2 a day is higher. Does this even make sense? (talk) 06:45, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

I would wait as long as you will replace the removed picture with another. Bladesmulti (talk) 08:31, 24 May 2014 (UTC)